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Ginger showing promise for relieving muscle pain.

Ginger Root

Ginger Root

While ginger has been used for centuries for relieving a range of medical problems such as nausea, new research shows it can also help ease the pain caused by a wide range of exercise from gym workouts to housework to gardening.

Researchers at the University of Georgia have found that a daily dose of ginger can relieve pain by as much as 25 percent after exercise.

From The Journal Of Pain – Perspective:
This study demonstrates that daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury. Our findings agree with those showing hypoalgesic effects of ginger in osteoarthritis patients and further demonstrate ginger’s effectiveness as a pain reliever.

Ginger contains anti-inflammatory chemicals, and previous studies have shown these chemicals are effective in relieving the pain of arthritis in ways similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D. led two studies, sponsored by McCormick Science Institute, that investigated the ability of ginger to relieve muscle pain. Participants in the studies, two groups of 34 and 40 volunteers, respectively, were given capsules containing two grams of either raw or heat-treated ginger, or a placebo for 11 consecutive days. On the eighth day, they performed exercises that caused moderate muscle injury to the arm. Arm function, inflammation, pain, and a biochemical involved in pain were measured prior to and for three days after exercise.

Both raw and heat-treated ginger lowered the pain by 25 percent.

“The economic and personal costs of pain are extremely high,” O’Connor said in a statement. “Anything that can truly relieve this type of pain will be greatly welcomed by the many people who are experiencing it.”

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